Babies are really cute, but they are a lot of work. They need to have everything done for them. They need to be fed, changed, carried, comforted, and protected. They can’t do anything for themselves. One of the marks of maturity is when children begin to take care of themselves. They start to feed themselves, dress themselves, tie their own shoes and wash themselves in the bathtub.
And while we are delighted as parents when our children take these steps, I expect that we have loftier goals for them. We want them to come to a point where they are able to help others. We want them to clean their room out of courtesy for their sibling roommate. We want them to be a contributing teammate on their athletic team. They are expected to carry out certain chores for the family.
This understanding of physical maturity is true in the spiritual realm as well. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Community Church, posed a probing question, “The mature follower of Jesus stops asking, ‘Who’s going to meet my needs?’ and starts asking, ‘Whose needs can I meet?’ Do you ever ask that question?”
Unfortunately, many professing believers never reach this level of maturity. Much has been written in recent years about the juvenilization of the American church. They expect the church to meet their needs with clean facilities, sound teaching and relevant programs, but they feel no obligation to give, serve, commit or contribute to the ministry of the church. Many believers remain in a constant state of evaluating and critiquing the church as outsiders instead of growing up and taking responsibility as members of God’s family.
Based on this definition, are you a mature believer or do you have some growing up to do?
Photo used with permission